Blue Jays call up Jordan Romano

The Toronto Blue Jays have called up Ontario Blue Jays alum and Markham, Ont., native Jordan Romano. Photo: Amanda Fewer

The Toronto Blue Jays have called up Ontario Blue Jays alum and Markham, Ont., native Jordan Romano. Photo: Amanda Fewer

June 12, 2019

By Kevin Glew

Canadian Baseball Network

The Toronto Blue Jays have called up Canadian right-hander Jordan Romano (Markham, Ont.) from the triple-A Buffalo Bisons.

To make room for him on the roster, the Blue Jays have placed closer Ken Giles on the 10-day injured list with right elbow inflammation and transferred veteran righty Clay Buchholz to the 60-day injured list.

Romano, who turned 26 in April, is set to become the 12th Canadian to play in the major leagues this season and the fourth to make their big league debut since the beginning of the campaign. He will also become the 28th Canadian to play for the Blue Jays.

Selected in the 10th round of the 2014 MLB draft, Romano was employed almost exclusively as a starter in his last three seasons in the Blue Jays’ organization before being transitioned to the closer’s role with the Bisons this season. In 17 triple-A appearances in 2019, he owns a 6.10 ERA and four saves, but he has struck out 43 batters in 31 innings.

Romano is coming off a solid season as a starter with the double-A New Hampshire Fisher Cats in which was named an Eastern League all-star and the Canadian Baseball Network’s minor league pitcher of the year. A former Ontario Blue Jay who attended Oral Roberts University, Romano also helped lead the Fisher Cats to an Eastern League championship.

In his 25 starts with the Fisher Cats in 2018, he won 11 games and posted a 4.13 ERA and fanned 125 batters in 137 1/3 innings. He also pitched five strong innings and picked up the win in a start for the triple-A Bisons.

Despite his strong season, the Blue Jays left Romano unprotected in the Rule 5 draft in December and he was selected by the Chicago White Sox who then flipped him to the Texas Rangers. The Rangers gave him a long look in spring training, but couldn’t find room for him on their big league roster and ultimately returned him to the Blue Jays.

From 2014 to 2016, Romano posted 1.93, 2.11 and 3.39 ERAs respectively as he climbed through the Blue Jays’ system. In all, in five seasons in the Blue Jays’ organization, he has registered 24 wins and recorded a 3.52 ERA in 412 innings across 99 appearances.

Romano is expected to join the Blue Jays’ bullpen mix. Manager Charlie Montoyo told reporters on Wednesday that Joe Biagini will slide into the closer’s role in Giles’s absence.